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Bloomberg Composting Program Gains Traction In Morningside Heights

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Though not without its critics, the composting program pushed by Mayor Michael Bloomnberg during his final year in office seems to be working so far for some Manhattan residents. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

At a Morningside Gardens complex in Manhattan, composting is catching on.

Last month, residents received sealed-top bins, which they use for food scraps and periodically empty out in a row of containers downstairs.

“No longer are we throwing our food scraps into the garbage, sending it off to a landfill somewhere in Pennsylvania," said resident Skip Delano. "Instead, it’s going to be sent to be recycled in compost, and will be used here in the city.”

These residents are the latest addition to the city’s composting pilot program, which began earlier this year in one Staten Island neighborhood.

Participation is voluntary, but could eventually become mandatory - something critics call impractical and another nanny-state intrusion.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, however, says otherwise.

“It saves us money, and it dramatically makes the environment that our kids are going to inherit from us better," said Bloomberg. "It’s kind of hard to argue that you shouldn’t do this.”

At Morningside Gardens, city officials say they’ve already reduced the amount of regular garbage by about 35 percent, with each household recycling about a pound of food scraps each day on average.

The pilot program will next expand to parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx, with the aim of reaching 100,000 households citywide by next year.

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration also unveiled a new ad campaign on Monday tied to the recent expansion of the city’s recycling program to include all rigid plastics.

Advertisements featuring the tagline “Recycle Everything” will begin appearing this week.

Ultimately, though, the fate of composting will be up to the next mayor.

“We can show that it does work, and it does work in different locations, and it does work in different types of buildings and whatever,' said Bloomberg. "And then, it’ll give the next administration the opportunity to carry on.”

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